But What Happened to Eid Anyways?

The truth is, Eid didn’t change. Maybe there are few people missing from the less number of gatherings, but still. The main formula is quiet the same. But it is us. The growing up. The adulthood. But why?

When we were kids, our parents would work really hard into making us excited for the day. At my home we’d hang decorations on the walls, we’d fill the floor with colorful balloons, and we’d stuff the dining table with candy, chocolates and homemade cake. We’d fill the living room with balloons and play all kind of Eid songs. We’d prepare our new clothes, iron them and hang them on the closet’s knob along with the shoes, new pair of socks and underwear.  We’d wake up early in the morning, get dressed, go to prayer then my parents would take us to the toy shop to buy our new ‘Leibet el Eid’ or the Eid toys. We’d spend most of the days alone, with no or very few relatives in the city, not bothered since we have our new toys.

But now? Our parents assume that we are too old for providing us with such excitement. And they’re right. We are. We are too old to be waiting for such input from them. We are too old to understand that Eid is just a normal day and WE can make it exciting for ourselves. But there is one problem: we don’t know how to do that.

Eid for us was all about the new clothes, new toys and house decorations. The kind of things that would make a day exciting for a kid. But for an adult? No. We didn’t see how our parents got excited for Eid itself other than making it exciting for us. We didn’t see how they enjoyed it. We didn’t see them waiting so impatiently for that day the way we did. We didn’t see it and they never spoke to us about it till we grew up and complained at the Eids that we’ve missed. Then we heard they complain too and along the complaints came stories of their Eids when they were kids and how they got excited for the special day.

Suddenly it was clear to me why I am not only feeling Eid anymore but I can’t wait for the day to pass. Why? Because simply, it is a painful reminder that I grew up.

But can we, adults, get excited for Eid again? Of course. But how? First we need to understand why we got excited for Eid as kids in the first place: we were given the things that would excite a kid. Therefore the answer is simple: all we should do, as adults, is to give ourselves things to get excited for. Maybe we can start doing things that we wanted to do a long time ago but always couldn’t find the time. That painting we wanted to paint, that place we wanted to visit, and that trip we wanted to make. Call people we love and always ran out of time to do that. Spend quality time with the family. Explore the countryside, explore a new city, or just walk in a neighborhood we’ve never visited. Just do something that would make ourselves especially excited to wake up that morning.

Rituals

The morning rays sneak in shyly between the threads of the thin curtain fabric, hoping to land silently on her eyes. They slowly fill in the room magically turning it into a golden temple.

The little girl in pink pajamas jumps out of her bed. She calls for her brother: ‘Morning’s here!’ but he just moans and covers his eyes with a pillow.

She rushes to the window and slides the lid open. She sticks her head out and cool breeze calmly brushes her cheeks, plays with her curly hair tickling her face and she softly giggles. She sings to the skyline of the awakening city. She sings to the pigeons and birds. She sings to the only car waiting in the signal. She sings to the boy she likes in school who lives across the street. She sings songs she has written herself. Only she has never written down. She was afraid they’d be read. Therefore she inscribed them in her memory singing them every day in order to not to be forgotten.

***

The morning rays sneak in around the edges of the thick blackouts. She could see them touching the floor.  She tries to cover her eyes with her arm but the phone alarm bell rings off. She types in the password a couple of times till she finally sees the numbers on the padlock. She unlocks the phone and turns off the alarm.

She calls for her brother in the nearby room: ‘Wake up it is 10!” but all she could hear is a groan.

The young lady in pink pajamas slowly removes the bed cover and sits up rubbing her eyes. She reaches her phone and checks out the messages. She swears and puts it down. She wonders why she always checks the messages before getting out of bed if she knew they’d make her feel even worse. She goes to the bathroom and stares at the face in the mirror. Her vision slowly blurs.